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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 21, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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talent and soul and intensity of an aretha franklin or a james brown or any great vocalist. >> extraordinary. lenny, you're also an extraordinary talent. it's been a great pleasure meeting you. really has. i really enjoys it. i look forward. >> all right, man. >> thank you very much. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. >> thanks, piers. it's 10:00 p.m. here on east coast. we begin with keeping them honest with a part of ron paul's part you might not know. it's a part of his past we don't know fully. that's because the congressman who is now leading the polls in iowa is prickly whenever he's asked about this. as we learned tonight, his story appears to have changes over the years as well. that's him taking off his microphone, cutting short the questioning from gloria borger. they have to do with racially inflammatory writings to paid subscribers during the '80s and '90s. though the articles rarely carried a byline they were
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written in the first person and in random publications such as the ron paul political report and the ron paul survival report. now this all flared up about three years ago when the liberal new republic did the story. more recently, though, the same reporter writing for the conservative weekly standard flushed out even more details, as have new york organizations from "the new york times" to cnn. what we've all uncovered are items like this from a 1992 newsletter shortly after the l.a. riots titled "special issue on racial terrorism." listen to this, one line reads, order was only restored in los angeles when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks. in fact, order was restored when the national guard moved in. two years earlier in another ron paul publication an article criticized president reagan for signing legislation approving the creation of the federal martin luther king jr. holiday, complaining, quote, we can thank him for our annual hate whitey day. again, these newsletters were written in the '80s and '90s while ron paul was out of congress and had several
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thousand subscribers. as i mentioned a lot of this first came to light in 2008. wolf blitzer asked him about it back then. >> congressman, there's a lot of material there, but let me just try to figure out how did this stuff get in these ron paul newsletters? who wrote it? >> well, well, i have no idea. have you ever heard of a publisher of a magazine not knowing every single thing? the editor is responsible for the daily activities and people came and gone and there were some people that were hired. i don't know any of their names. i do not, absolutely, honestly do not know who wrote those things. >> did you used to read these newsletters, congressman? >> not back then. there might have been times i would at times. i was in a medical practice. i traveled a lot. i was doing speeches around the country. so very frequently, you know, i never did see these. as a matter of fact, so many of the things you just read, i wouldn't have recognized them. >> again, that was in 2008.
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but keeping them honest, in 1996 when he was running for congress, democrats dug up other passages from his newsletters that he did not deny writing. one called late texas congresswoman barbara jordan, african-american, quote, a half-educated victimologist. and talking about crime in washington, quote, given the inn efficiencies of what d.c. laughingly calls the criminal justice system, i think we can safely say 95% of black males in that city are semicriminal or entirely criminal. nor did he deny writing this statement: if you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be. he was asked about that and the other two statements as well by "the dallas morning news." the reporter writing, quote, dr. paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. he said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation. at that time he did not deny writing the passages. five years later talking to the texas monthly, paul backed away
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from all of that. he changed his tune. quote, they were never my words, he said. but i had some moral responsibility for them. he said his campaign aides told him, quote, your name was on that letter and, therefore, you have to live with it. so that's ten years ago. he seems to be saying he didn't write the articles but his staff made him take responsibility. fast forward, ten years later, he's now blaming the media for bringing it up again. but as you'll see he's not doing so much to clear the air. in fact, today chief political analyst gloria borger spoke with the candidate. >> let me ask you, you've been answering a lot of questions lately about the newsletters that were published under your name and some of the things contained in them were conspiracy theories, some are considered racist, and you disavowed them completely. but they were called the ron paul report. and did you read them at all when they were published during those years? did you ever sort of take a look at it and say, you know what, this isn't what i stand for?
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>> not all the time. >> but you did read them? >> not all the time. well, on occasion, yes. >> and did you ever object when you read them? >> you know, we talked about this twice yesterday at cnn. why don't you look at what i said yesterday on cnn and what i've said for 20-some years. it was 22 years ago. i didn't write them. i disavow them and that's it. >> but you made money off of them. >> i was still practicing medicine. that's probably why i wasn't a very good publisher because i had to make a living. >> would you give it back -- >> to who? >> -- if you made money and -- well, charity. charity. if you made money off of them, you disavow it -- >> i didn't write them and i don't endorse those views and i've explained it many times. >> so you read them but you didn't do anything about it at the time? >> i never read that stuff. i've never read it. i was probably aware of it ten years after it was written and it's been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this, and cnn does every single time.
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>> it's a legitimate -- is it lemg mate? is it a legitimate question to ask? something went out with your name -- >> and when you get the answer, it's legitimate that you take the answers i give. you know what the answer is? i didn't write them. i didn't read them at the time. and i disavow them. that is the answer. >> well, it's just a question. it's legitimate. it's legitimate. these things are pretty incendiary, you know. >> because of people like you. >> no. no, no, no, no. come on. some of the stuff was very incendiary, you know, say that in 1993 the israelis were responsible for the bombing of the world trade center and that kind of stuff. all right. >> good-bye. >> all right, all right. thank you, congressman. appreciate your answer, appreciate you answering the question. you understand it's our job. >> thank you. >> gloria borger joins us now, along with former press second for george w. bush, ari fleischer and redstate.com's eric erickson. gloria, looked like quite an
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interview there. as the congressman said, it's not the first time he's faced questions about all of this, but when you spoke to him today, he still doesn't seem quite ready to answer them, obviously, did he? >> well, there seems to be a bit of a conflict. on the one hand he says that he read them on occasion. and then on the other hand he said that he did not read the most incendiary ones. so it's really unclear what kind of editorial relationship, if any, ron paul had with this report that bears his name. he says that it's irrelevant. that was 22 years ago. he clearly doesn't want to talk about it. honestly, that's the kind of scrutiny you have to expect if you're the front-runner in a presidential race. >> it's politics, no question. erick, to that point some people are hearing about this for the first time, these questions are not new. they don't seem to have much on his presidential hopes until now. why not previously? >> well, because no one took him
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seriously previously and now he's in first place in iowa. i have to tell you remember the days in 2008 when his supporters put my home address and phone on a neo-nazi website. we don't have to go back to the letters. we can ask ron paul why four years ago he allowed neo-nazi websites to fundraise for him, we can ask him why three years ago he went on iranian tv it 0 say that israelis had set up concentration camps to indiscriminately kill palestinians. there's a lot we can ask him. a more relevant question is, if we can't go back and ask him these questions from the late '80s and early '90s, why can he go back to the '90s and attack newt gingrich or mitt romney or rick perry for things they wrote? does he believe this is a legitimate double standard? >> a lot of people are saying, what does it all mean? what's the impact? ari, let me ask you that. first of all, take a look at this poll of likely republican iowa caucusgoers. ron paul a top pick, 28% of the vote. newt gingrich is up there with 25%. romney and perry are the only
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two candidates who cracked double digits. i mean, ron paul has some of the most dedicated supporters out there and in a caucus state like iowa, that can make a big difference. what do you think it means going forward for the whole field? >> well, i think if he does win iowa it really done mean much. mitt romney is probably cheering for him to win iowa because it's going to propel mitt romney forward. no one thinks ron paul can go anywhere. iowa being a very small caucus state, 110,000 voters, perhaps 120,000 voters, a small energized plurality can make all the difference in the world, and that's what propels ron paul's candidacy. as anybody who has read my tweets know, i'm not a supporter of ron paul, not a fan of ron paul. as much as i'm neutral in the primary ron paul is a fringe candidate and i don't think ron paul represents the republicans' best foot forward. and so i'm bothered by all this tremendously on the merits of it and on the impact his image could have coming out of iowa as a republican winner. also, four years ago, and i just looked this up, you have ten
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percentage points in iowa, 8% in new hampshire, 4% in south carolina and 3% in florida. iowa has historically been the strongest state. he ran before. remember not just mitt romney who ran, ron paul ran. and iowa was his high water mark. he plunged from there on. >> gloria -- go ahead, erick. go ahead. >> you know, i think there's another relevant point that needs to be asks of ron paul. if you go back to one of the writings, the ron paul freedom report that had no bi-line was written in first person as if it was from ron paul that was gay men were trying to intentionally infect the american blood supply by giving blood donations while having aids to infect the heterosexual population. ron paul supporters frequently attacked barack obama for sitting in reverend jeremiah wright's church, and barack obama has denied hearing jeremiah wright's sermons. how is ron paul's denying of knowing these things any different from going after barack obama for the reverend wright matter? there is none. they can't defend that.
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>> and, again, to be clear, the congressman has disavowed all of these remarks. i read some of the same remarks as well. gloria, you talked to him today. let me ask you this. if you can comment on what erick said, but what does this mean for the iowa caucus in general? he's at the top, despite all of this news that's most recent. >> well, you know, i spoke with the governor of the state of iowa, governor brandstad, yesterday about this. and i said what if ron paul wins because lots of establishment republicans are saying if ron paul wins, the iowa caucus is completely irrelevant. he doesn't want that to be the case. so he says what's important is who comes in second and who comes in third. of course that's important. but as ari fleischer says, this is not the message the republican party wants to be sending. but i'll tell you this, i was at a ron paul event earlier in the day. it was a full house, and the message that resonates here is
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the message of anti-washington, anti-big government, anti-debt, anti-deficit, anti-establishment, and it works with voters who are angry about the economy. so there is a real connection here with the voters in iowa. >> it will be interesting where the ads go from here and what happens over the next several days. i wish we had more time to talk about it. appreciate your time. thanks so much. and let us know what you think at home as well. we're on facebook, on google. add us to your circle so you can follow me on twitter. i'll be tweeting tonight. up next, though, ten days until your taxes go up and this guy here and his house republicans are getting thrown under the bus by other republicans. we have the inside scoop on this and what the politics could mean for your paycheck. and later, a deadly discovery. how to turn bird flu into a potential terrorist people killer. why that has the scientific, the medical and the national security community on edge. first, though --
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let's check in with isha. >> the search is on for a 20--month-old baby girl. take a look. ayla reynolds last seen friday night in her bed in waterville, maine. her father is speaking out. we'll have much more when "360" continues. iver's lense . past five years' tax returns. high school report cards. and i'm gonna need to see a receipt for that watch you're wearing. you know, you really should provide us with a checklist of documents we're gonna need up front. who do you think i am? quicken loans? at quicken loans, we provide a checklist of the mortgage documents you'll need up front. it helps keep you in the know every step of the way. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. it helps keep you in the know every step of the way. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of a pain free holiday.
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time is running out to find a plan that could save the payroll tax cut and jobless benefit for millions of americans. there was plenty of talk but no action. president obama made a phone
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call to house speaker john boehner and senate majority leader harry reid, in an effort to end the standoff. house republicans are feeling the heat for blocking legislation and it's coming from an unexpected source, their fellow republicans in the senate. much more of the raw politics in a moment. first john king joins us from washington with a look at what failing to stop this stalemate might mean for you. john? sanjay, if you're watching this, you might think that, it's just that, raw politics, another childish partisan showdown in washington. maybe you have holiday shopping to do. guess what? you're going to pay for that out of your wallet in a week or two, the next paycheck, maybe the one after that. if nothing is done, if you make $35,000 a year, your taxes are going to go up $700 a year. that's about $27 a paycheck. if you make $50,000 a year, you're going to pay $1,000 more in taxes next year if they don't do anything. that means $38 a paycheck come middle of january. $75,000 a year, you'll pay $1,500 more. that means $58 a paycheck. we can jump up.
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if you make $100,000, you'll lose more than $2,000, $2,182. i know some are saying that's a lot of money that matters if you're on a family budget. if you're way up in the top percent above $110,000, $2,300 more. $90 a paycheck. maybe people think it's just politicians in washington fighting but if they don't figure this out and figure it out soon, ten days and a few hours, this will come out of the paycheck at a time people put a lot of money on the credit cards for the holidays and have extra bills to pay. >> such important context because people are talking about this but this gives them a picture what's at stake. if you could stay with us, we do want to talk more about the politics. i want to bring in dana bash on capitol hill and cnn senior political analyst, david gergen. you and i talked about this last night. i know you've been reporting the story all day. what are you hearing on the hill right now? >> well, the betting is if anybody is going to cave, give in, on this standoff, it's the house republicans because they have just been -- the pressure has been mounting on them in an unbelievable way, sanjay,
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especially today even more so from their fellow republicans in the senate. it's actually been stunning the conversations that i've been having again with republicans about their fellow republicans in the house, really upset about the fact that they, the senate republicans feel that republicans have now given up ground on the basic issue, the fundamental credo, cutting taxes. and they feel that republicans who have really been hellbent on saying no, we're not going to have a two-month extension, we're going to stand up fo a one-year extension in the payroll tax cut, they've given ground on their number one issue which is cutting taxes to democrats. and democrats look like they're the ones who want tax relief. >> that seems to be the message a lot of people are hearing. david, you say that what's going on here is very significant in terms of the republican party's chances of taking the white house as well. is it because of the reasons dana has outlined? >> it goes beyond. a senior conservative, sanjay, believes that there's a real
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danger the public will now blame the house republicans for breaking down in washington and the house republicans are being held hostage by the tea party. all of that from the point of view of senior republicans is -- raises the danger that it enhances president obama's chances for re-election. it diminishes the chances of republicans taking the senate and they may lose more house seats. so people are looking for a way out. and frankly there are two ways potentially out of this. one is what "the wall street journal" is calling for, newt gingrich has called for today, karl rove has called for today and that is house republicans just to cave in. get it behind them, move on. there's another way out if they don't want to do that, they can say, look, when the senate comes back, we want to sit down in january and will work out a one-year extension retroactive to january 1 on everything whether it's tax cuts or unemployment benefits.
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it will be retroactive. no one is going to get hurt. we want a one year extension. i think they could possibly make that work, too. >> john king, to summarize, there seems to be this real sense, reading the editorials the gop leaders have made a m mistake when it comes to the payroll tax. republicans in the senate, as dana bash outlines the leaders allowed the democrats to look like they're the ones for tax relief while the republicans look like they're against it. how big a fiasco is this then for the republicans in the house right now? >> well, right now it's a big deal. as dana notes, when you have your own party, the editorial "wall street journal," saying president obama's trying to raise your taxes they're trying to overregulate. the problem is the republicans. that's a problem. here's a bet. next october when people are getting ready to cast their votes, whether it's for house or senate for president, they may not remember the specifics for this. there is a narrative emerging. the reason the president is
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coming into the briefing room of the white house, he's trying to say, i'm on the side of the middle class. the republicans who won't raise taxes on millionaires want to raise taxes on the middle class. will they remember the details? maybe not. president obama is not a natural populist. he's a professor, a lot of democrats complain he's aloof. he has to seize the issue, say i'm on your side. the democrats are running saying we're on your side. the details of this will likely be forgotten as another washington dustup. however, it does give the democrats control of the message at the moment, a long way to go, but the democrats are liking this. >> dana, david gergen brought this idea of possibly in january hammering out a deal and making it retroactive to january 1st that would buy some time as we look at the calendar now, december 21st. are people talking about that? have your sources mentioned that as an option to you as well? >> that's one idea i've heard floating around. other ideas are basically just to get the president and democrats to say, look, we promise that we are going to
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appoint negotiators to start talking about a one-year extension as soon as possible and we promise this is important politically that it will somehow get done before the president's state of the union because a big dynamic is republicans are very concerned that the president is going to use that big platform, the state of the union address in january, to really hammer republicans on this issue in general. but the thing to keep in mind and i've been told by several very smart republicans here on capitol hill, you have to watch john boehner. people can have all the ideas in the world. he is the one who has to make the decision because he's the one who has to navigate the unruly conference, republican caucus, that he is trying to navigate and this has been a pattern. it's been very hard for him to do it. maybe he misread it over the past couple of days. he can't misread it again. >> everyone is talking about the presidential race, obviously for good reason, john king. what about the impact of this on the senate or house races, especially in more moderate or democratic leaning states? >> one race, scott brown was the surprise of last year. he won ted kennedy's liberal
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democratic seat in massachusetts as a republican. the massachusetts version of the tea party backed him. he has a very tough re-election campaign. 2012 president obama will carry massachusetts. i don't think any republican thinks they have a prayer in massachusetts. his poeopponent likely to be elizabeth warren was the president's consumer finance adviser. a lot of people want her to be the new watchdog. she is the ultimate i'm on your side candidate. i fight the big banks, i fight for you, the little guy. scott brown is appalled at this. now would he like a one-year extension as opposed to a two-month extension? does he think washington is playing silly games, yes. he's on the ballot next year. it will be a tough enough election anyway. if he can't go home and say i'm mr. bipartisan, i get things done, i'm on your side, he's in more trouble, sanjay. that's one race i would watch and there are many others. >> ten days until the new year. we'll stay on it. thanks so much. and up next, a bioterrorism fear. scientists in a lab created a strain of a bird flu virus both deadly and easily spread.
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now the question is this, should the research stay under lock and key or published and risk potentially getting in the hands of the bad guys? also later, the case of the snaggletoothed killer. a man wrongly convicted of killing a woman with bite mark testimony. part of our "crime and punishment" on questionable forensic science. get the technology they love, on the network they deserve.
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as a doctor, nothing quite as a doctor, nothing quite shakes you like encountering an epidemic. something drags you straight back to your roots as a profession, back to small pox, influenza, the plague. at a time doctors could offer little more than comforting words in the face of killers they could barely understand, let alone treat.
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we're learning how many of these bugs kill and also how they spread. if ignorance was the old nightmare, knowledge could be the new one. when i was in southeast asia during the bird flu outbreak, hundreds of people died. we knew it could have been much worse as well. we knew what made bird flu so deadly but we knew it didn't spread well person to person. that was an important fact. now we know how to change that. scientists have unlocked the recipe for bird flu that spreads like wildfire and they're being asked to keep quiet about it in the name of global security. here to talk about that, dr. nathan wolf, founder and ceo of the global viral forecasting initiative. also author of "the viral storm -- the dawn of a new pandemic age" and fran townsend, former homeland security adviser in the bush administration. nathan, you and i have talked about this, traveled around the world talking about this for some time. it's pretty frightening to read about, talk about a virus that could kill a lot of people and also spread easily.
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how dangerous is this h1ni virus? >> from my perspective, one of the most interesting elements of the research, and we're waiting for results in the papers, that is we didn't previously know it could be transmissible in mammals. what we know from the research it can be transmitted in one mammal, remember it is ferrets and ferrets generally are a very good model for understanding both disease and transmission in humans, but this doesn't necessarily tell us exactly how effective this virus would be at transmitting in humans. >> people are putting this in a national security sense as well, fran. this is one of those things where you think about viruses and national security, it doesn't come up that often. what is your assessment of what this advisory panel is claiming, and do you think this could be a national security threat? >> i absolutely think it could be a national security threat, sanjay. let's remember recently secretary of state clinton was over in geneva at the world health organization and talked
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about in her remarks the ease with which because of public information now that someone with some science background can take public information, get basic genetic material and make a bioweapon. this really is a threat. now we've to balance that, of course, against the need for academic and scientific freedoms but i think there are ways doing that. this was a concern going back to the bush administration. i resh talking with tony fouchy of nih and getting his advice of that balancing. >> because we are talking again about a virus, nathan, that potentially kills people and spreads through the air more quickly, something that the h5n1, something we studied in the past could not do, at the heart of that, do you believe that information whether it's in the lab documents or published studies, whatever, does it need to be out there? do labs like yours need to be able to see this to help combat a potential pandemic? >> look, what we do with
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global viral forecasting a number of our partners do, we do surveillance. biological surveillance around the world trying to detect pandemics before they occur. clearly understanding what particular elements of a virus can cause it to spread, cause it to be deadly are pivotal to us. we're sitting with hundreds of thousands of specimens and right now part of our challenge is, how do we go through the specimens when we see an outbreak occurring in the field, how do we know it's going to spread? and there is a very important element. you are talking about really sort of this careful balance between risk and benefit and i think there's clear agreement with everyone that we completely underestimate the importance of purposeful biological attacks. bioterror is something that we haven't seen huge examples in the last five years or so we tend to sort of people don't pay attention to it. these are huge risks. there's a lot of agents out there that could be used in a very, very negative way and we need to sort of balance the risk
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and reward of this research but from our perspective the kind of data that lets us know which specimens are important and key for the kind of surveillance we do around the world. >> and we talked about this theoretically so much over the last couple of years. when you listen to nathan, a scientist out in the field who says i need the information because i'm the guy who is tracking this potential pathogen spreading around the world. if i don't know what it is exactly, i haven't seen the published studies on it, it makes it harder for me to do my job, i need this information. how do you balance nathan's desires with some sort of national security policy? >> sanjay, nathan and i agree. i do think nathan and people like nathan need access to these sorts of reports. but what you need to do is make sure people with a legitimate reason and a legitimate use do get the access while not making it widely and publicly available in the way that the internet permits to you do if you merely allow it to be published. i do think it requires stewardship on the part of scientists and researchers to
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make sure that there's a process in place that allows them to disseminate it and get the value to folks like nathan without putting it in the hands and making it available to bad guys who would use it against us. >> it's one of those things. >> go ahead, nathan. >> one thing i was going to add, i do think to a certain extent what you're looking at is a bunch of folks that are doing their jobs very well. you've got individuals who are doing this pivotal science to help us understand the factors that lead to transmissions of a potentially deadly virus. you have editors who are taking very seriously the important recommendations of the basically we do have to consider exactly what the nature of this information is and i think to a certain extent these are all obviously important features. >> and talk about a real life -- this has been theoretical for so long, now this is the real world now. i appreciate dr. nathan wolf and fran townsend, thanks a lot.
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>> more ahead on "360." they call him the snaggletooth killer, convicted of murder by bite mark analysis. after he spent more than ten years in prison that science was proved wrong. we'll tell you a story and how an amazing forensic breakthrough turned out to be nothing more than junk science. also the mystery of missing baby ayla. her dad said he put her to bed last friday night and never saw her again. the latest on that investigation. borrowed technology from ferrari to develop its suspension system? or what if we told you that ferrari borrowed technology from cadillac to develop its suspension system? magnetic ride control -- pioneered by cadillac, perfected in the 556-horsepower cts-v. we don't just make luxury cars. we make cadillacs. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults.
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>> they call it the csi effect, the forensic science that seems to solve every crime in television dramas and prosecutors and juries use them more and more to convict in the real world. in "crime & punishment" we've been putting those methods to the test. we're finding out they're not always as reliable as on tv. tonight we like at something known as bike mark analysis and the case of ray krone. he was once dubbed the snaggletooth killer because of his bad teeth. krone was accused of the murder
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of a bartender, and convicted on the basis of bite marks left on her body. he spent more than ten years in prison before they found out the science in the case was just plain wrong. here is gary tuchman. >> reporter: ray krone lives on a farm in pennsylvania. he has lots of space, 27 acres. a far cry from where he used to live. on arizona's death row. >> kim was an outgoinger. . a good bartender, bubbly, energetic. a real nice person to know and be around. >> reporter: 36-year-old kim ancona was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in a bathroom in this phoenix bar back in 1991. ray krone was a customer at the bar. some people thought he was kim's boyfriend. so detectives talked to him and asked him to participate in a strange procedure. >> they put a plastic apparatus in my mouth, spread my lips back and took pictures of my teeth and had me snarl and grin taking pictures for about two hours. >> reporter: what krone didn't know was bite marks had been found on the victim's breast and
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neck. a day after his teeth were compared to the marks -- >> i heard the screech of brakes, the sounds of people yelling, freeze, don't move, you're under arrest. there was a van load of police officers in riot gear and guns drawn, threw me on the ground and handcuffed me and arrested me for murder and sexual assault. >> reporter: prosecutors hired a so-called bite mark expert for the trial. the primary evidence, his testimony which led to a murder conviction. because of his bad teeth at the time, krone became known as the snaggletooth killer. >> i basically told the judge you have the wrong person. i was called a monster, a killer, and sentenced to death, shackled and taken straight to death row in florence, arizona. >> reporter: for three years he sat on death row. >> i made plans for my last meal, whatever i was going to have. in order to survive on death row you have to survive with being executed. >> reporter: but then to his elation he won a new trial on appeal. however, with the same bite mark expert testifying, he was convicted again.
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>> it was way more painful than the first time. >> reporter: this time the judge said he had doubts about the conviction. he gave krone 25 years to life, but took him off death row. as it turns out the judge was right to be queasy. years later dna evidence from the crime scene matched someone else, the real killer of kim ancona was this man, ken phillips, who accepted a plea bargain in her murder. after more than a decade the one time snaggletooth killer was now a free man. >> hi. >> reporter: he was reunited with his family, who never stopped believing in him and always doubted the validity of bite analysis. the national academy of sciences now very publicly agrees. seven years after his release the n.a.s. released a critical report which says in part the scientific basis insufficient to conclude that bite mark comparisons can result in a conclusive match. >> if someone would say this is junk science your answer to that would be? >> it's not junk science. >> reporter: is it insulting to you? >> i think so.
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>> reporter: dr. lowell levine is a renowned forensic analyst and has utilized bite evidence. he was not involved in the krone case. >> we basically make aexemplar,a bite mark in wax. and this will give you all the unique individual characteristics of these teeth. >> reporter: he says by comparing bite wounds of the victim to the molds taken of a suspect's teeth, he has convict suspects and helped to free the innocent. he believes the expert messed up in the ray krone case. and acknowledges more work needs to be done with the science. so you're saying although you believe it's a reliable and important science there's really not a way to do kind of the standard scientific research in this field? >> i sure can't think of it. >> reporter: ray krone says he's never received apologies from prosecutors or prosecution witnesses. he does say that two detectives involved in the case said they were sorry but asked him why he didn't tell the truth from the beginning.
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krone says he told them, i did. without the impassioned support of his family and friends, krone believes he would have lingered longer in prison and possibly been executed. this article is where you came home, more than 100 people attend a party for freed man. big smile on your face. must have been an amazing day. >> this was one of the best days of my life. >> reporter: ray krone lives with his girlfriend, cheryl, and works as an advocate against the death penalty. and what did he name his pennsylvania farm? freebird. gary tuchman, cnn, york, pennsylvania. >> absolutely fascinating stuff. so bite mark analysis, is it a valuable crime fighting tool or junk science? i spoke with cnn's senior an lift, jeffrey toobin and larry kobalinsky, a professor in criminal justice. dr. kobalinsky, ray krone's story is absolutely heartbreaking. i think what most people see and worry about is there could be others like him that were
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convicted on this sort of science that got it wrong and those people are still sitting in jail. so how much faith specifically do you have in bite mark analysis? >> bite mark is very difficult to understand because a bite on human skin -- skin is elastic. it goes through a movement when you try to bite. you have trauma to the skin and it changes color over time. what you're doing is comparing one's dentition to a cellulose acetate overlay on top of the skin and try to determine a common origin. it's a very difficult area. it's impression evidence. there are problems with it. it's much, much too subjective. it needs to be computerized into a more objective way of looking at things and also, remember, there's no database. there are no national standards, and the big problem is you have an individual that goes to court and says i looked at that bite mark. i looked at the suspect's
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dentition and there's a common origin and i'm sure of it, 99.99%. what a terrible statement when you don't have databases and there are no statistics. >> i'm amazed by that part. there are hardly any national standards for most of the things we're discussing and, jeff, as dr. k. pointed out, the evidence of the bite mark itself on someone's skin is changing. as a lawyer, what is the faith people put on bite mark analysis and evidence? >> well, it's supposed to be up to the judge. the judge is supposed to exercise a screening function and examine the science and determine whether it's worthy of being presented to the jury. a lot of judges don't do this. they pass -- let the jury decide. and there's one word that leads to a lot of injustice in these cases and that's match. you have an expert get up there and say this bite mark matches the suspect's teeth. that word match can be so misleading because we don't know
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how many matches there are. we don't know if bite marks are unique. we don't know what the standards are. but jurors who watch "csi" or are impressed by the credentials of an expert think match and they think guilty, and that has led to a lot of injustice. >> sanjay, it could be used perhaps for exclusionary purposes but to include a suspect as the biter, that's dangerous. >> jeff, so there is no board certification to this or governing body that oversees this. you said it relies sort of on the discretion of the judge but the judge is not often a forensic expert. how are they to decide by looking at something like this if the forensic experts can't agree? >> well, that's the problem and judges operate by, you know, different jurisdictions, have different traditions and i think, in fairness, i've been critical of the science but i think there was a lot of good faith here. you have terrible crimes.
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you have victims with -- who have been left unconscious and all they have is a bite mark on their arm and you can see, well, why don't you look into it and see if you can draw some forensic guidance? but the problem is when prosecutors and police officers sort of fall in love with this evidence, you can have too much trust in it and innocent people go to prison. >> the nice thing about a bite mark, jeff, you can actually swab the area of the bite and hopefully there's dna there. in fact there was a case like that -- >> if you can, then everybody's happen. >> there was a case like that, and the person who said that you have the biter, the dentition proves the suspect is the biter. when you do dna they get exonerated, so we know which of the two is more reasonable and reliable. >> jeff toobin, dr. kobilinski, thank you so much.
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the latest search for a 20-month-old girl who vanished from her crib. plus, president obama takes a break to do a little holiday shopping. we'll tell you what's on his list. as you know by now, we're cutting down the best ridiculous of 2011. number eight is coming up. through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪
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the father of ayla is speaking out tonight. the 20-month-old last seen friday when put to bed. waterville police are following up on more than 3356 leads. private danny chen in afghanistan, his body was found in a guard tower with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in october. the u.s. justice department says bank of america will pay $335 million to settle discriminatory lending claims. federal investigation found that countrywide financial bought by
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the bank in 2008 led customers to subprime mortgages when they qualified for less risky loans. president obama did holiday shopping with a pet store today. he surprised customers at a before the buy where he picked up gifts for his daughters. sanjay? tonight tip ridiculist count down of 2011. tonight, number eight, flashback to the third eagle of the apocalypse and his earthy obsession. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day
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helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. [ woman ] ♪ what i want this season ♪ if you'd like to try and guess ♪ ♪ it is something very special ♪ i would readily confess [ dogs barking ] ♪ 'cause all i want this season ♪ ♪ is something from your heart ♪ la da da, la da da [ male announcer ] thinking of others this holiday season, travelers.
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we're counting down the top ridiculist of 2011, based on your votes, incidentallily. tonight in at number eight one of our staff favorites featuring the guy who calls him seven the third eagle of the apocalypse. here is anderson. tonight we have what i believe is the first ever ridiculous three-peat and who better to make ridiculous history than william tapley better known as -- >> the third eagle of the apocalypse and the co-prophet of the end times. >> how do you get to be the co--prophet of the end times? is it such a sauft after position they had to divide it up? as any fan of the third eagles youtube videos knows he is for some inexplicable reason obsessed with hidden fallacies he sees all over the denver international airport. >> they are evil. they are signs of satanism.
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and on this program i will point out many are phalix symbols. >> a prominent penguin penis he has highlighted for your enjoyment. this is on a painting at the denver international airport. now i put him on the ridiculist and now he responded. like manna from heaven, if you mean man parts here responded again. >> i guess you could call this the rubber match. maybe that's not quite the correct term. >> saucy! who knew the co-prophet of the end times would have such a naughty sense of humor. >> i'm starting to see how he got to be the co-prophet after all. i think his presentation was a little stiff and perhaps premature. >> i honestly believe that mr. cooper is beginning to agree with me. >> not so fast, third eagle. do you mind if i call you third eagle? i try to keep an open mind. you lose me when you claim there is a horse at the airport covered in phallus.
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in order to prove it, i would need a closer look. >> let's take a closer look at the mane on this blue demon horse. this looks like phallus symbols to me. i don't know, what do you think, mr. cooper? maybe you think they're ice cream cones. >> note to self, don't ever go to baskin robbins with the third eagle of the apocalypse. the ice cream parlor is satan's snack bar. now longtime prophets will know it is not just the horse and the penguin and the horse that are the problem but it is the denver international airport's entire outdoor baggage handling area. >> the outdoor baggage handling area is in the shape of a phall u s. let's take a closer look. >> and that is what he does. mr. tapley has taken his philosophy to a whole new level. it's not just the low hanging baggage area that now concerns him, it's also salacious surrounding street names.
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>> what do you suppose this street name is that runs right down the center? you guessed it. that's pena boulevard. >> i'm sorry. actually i did not guess that. i was hoping for urethra boulevard. pena is named for frederico pena, the former mayor of denver. anyway, that's one street. it's not like there's others. >> i guess you could call this the pubic hair area. so what do you suppose the name of this street here is? this is the harry b. combs parkway. >> harry b. combs was an aviator and a writer -- who cares? it doesn't matter. >> this street right here, this is shady grove street. i guess that's because that's where the sun don't shine. >> the sun don't -- i think he's getting his anatomical references confused now.
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>> if they ever cut the flow of traffic on this little street leading down to pena boulevard, i bet they will call that a vasectomy. >> that is just a fallacy. say what you will about the co-prophet, he cares about people almost as much as he cares about fallacies. >> as for you, mr. cooper, do you want to be remembered as the most naive reporter in the history of television? >> well, no, i wanted to be remembered as third eagle of the apocalypse but that name was already taken. >> and, mr. cooper, i am going to send you a copy of my free book. i hope this address is correct. >> i got the book. thank you kindly. that was a very nice gesture. so you know what, let's just end this whole war of words. i'm officially extending the olive branch. oh, no. he's not going to like that, is he? got to work on that. please don't get too testy. william tapley, it has indeed been a long and winding road.

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